Two weeks ago, discussing about business with my brother, he mentioned something about culture in business. This topic came about when a newly graduated cousin was attending a job interview to go and work in a foreign country and he decided to ask us a few questions that might be of importance, if at all he gets the opportunity to work for this company which was going to branch out in a foreign country.
Then I remembered reading something on culture and business by one writer called Hofstede. When it comes to international business, it is remarkable to see how different cultures approach management. There is certainly no one way of doing business and as technology narrows borders and globalization integrates the world’s economies, developing a sensitivity to how other cultures operate, generally and in business, is becoming essential. This he said refers to how a society handles inequalities and the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like family) accept and expect how power is distributed equally or unequally.
This means that in case a company needs to go multinational and branch out in different countries, it is important that they averse themselves with the culture of that particular country before anything else.
This will help the company to make sure everything they are trying to set up in that foreign country is legal, and what is being done is legitimate before any actual business is done; otherwise they might overlook some procedures, and the company will end up landing in trouble before it even starts operating. In this case, company executives are also advised to make sure that they are not crossing any barriers in language or culture while doing so.
It is a common knowledge that many cultures have different customs and rituals of greetings and in conducting some things. So when it comes to conducting business, things like the language barrier can be eliminated by having local employees who are fluent in the tongue of the country and the culture, so that embarrassing moments like misspelling words to mean other things can be avoided.
It is in this regard that business owners are advised to try and understand and respect any cultural differences they might encounter while doing their businesses. They should always do research on the culture of the country they are seeking to move into. Companies should never try to force methods or procedures into the culture of the new location if they do not fit. Facilities should be designed and developed specifically according to the culture in which it will exist.
This will help employees feel more comfortable and help them feel the need to give their best work to the company. They also appreciate the fact that a foreign company tried to base their decisions on the culture they have entered. It shows the employees that the company respects them and desires their trust and respect in return.